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Old 04-29-2015, 08:31 AM   #1
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Greetings, and . . .

These forums are great places to get opinions about all kinds of things. I appreciate the time people take to contribute to them. Thanks.

My reason for being here is simple, the wife and I thought we wanted a sailing catamaran, but haven't found the perfect vessel yet. The longer it takes, the more we start to consider other types of vessels. In addition, the more we struggle to find a vessel, the more we refine our mission and our likes/dislikes.

To that end (and I really hate to do this, but I've been reading the threads I think are pertinent), HELP!

Mission: coastal cruising along the East Coast and Gulf Coast, winter pilgrimages to warmer climates such as Bahamas and Antilles, Great Loop, possibly some navigable river cruising.

Budget: $200,000

Just the two of us, relatively healthy, not in any hurry (ie. retired), no pets.

Must haves: queen size or larger bed, separate shower, great outdoor living space, great visibility from within the main living area.

Prefer: multiple heads, off the grid living.

We don't require a fancy galley, we typically don't cook much and when we do the meals aren't very complex. We either eat simply or dine out.

Some things should go without saying. . . safety, reliability, and resale value are all important. We're likely to give this a go for at least 5 years.

No experience on larger vessels, just the typical lake and bay fishing boats with outboard or smaller inboard/outboard singles.

As one current member's signature states "I'd rather be comfortable than dignified."
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Old 04-29-2015, 09:03 AM   #2
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Greetings,
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Old 04-29-2015, 10:49 AM   #3
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Welcome!

We all have to start somewhere. Not sure what you are asking for but you might consider the style of boat you want, number of engines, size length and width, desired draft, age of boat you are willing to accept and how much you are willing to put into it to bring up to your standards. You say your budget is $200K but you normally will need to spend less and then spend another 20-30% on upgrades and outfitting. What you will find is there are certain cults brands of boats that everyone thinks is cool and certain brands that have a lesser reputation whether deserved or not.

Since you were originally interest in a catamaran, you might want to check out powercats or trawlercats as some are called. We saw a king size bed in a 44' Endeavour Powercat but they seem to be in the $250-300K range.

For monohulls, if you want a true queen or larger bed, an aft cabin is the best way to go as vberth queens are somewhat odd shaped in most cases and sometimes not true queens.

Assuming you really want to spend $160K for the boat and then up to $40K on upgrades and outfitting, maybe something like a 38-45 ft Bayliner, Mainship, Hatteras, Californian, Grand Banks or even Marine Trader might fall into that price range. There are also a lot of older Taiwanese boats (lots of brands names). You need to define what you want a little better. Might start by visiting the boat shows like Trawlerfest and just walking the docks.
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Old 04-29-2015, 11:15 AM   #4
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Age and style of boat doesn't matter to us. We'd like to do the Loop, so I suppose no wider than 21 feet. Prefer 2 engines. Prefer as close to turnkey as possible (as little refit and repair as possible).
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Old 04-29-2015, 05:41 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by jacks88 View Post
Age and style of boat doesn't matter to us. We'd like to do the Loop, so I suppose no wider than 21 feet. Prefer 2 engines. Prefer as close to turnkey as possible (as little refit and repair as possible).
What experience do you have? How many people will generally be on board? How long at a time will you generally be staying on the boat? Prefer Marinas or Anchoring?

For the loop, the two significant factors are draft and air draft. They should be kept in mind as eliminating factors. While the loop can be done with slightly more draft than 5', I wouldn't want to go higher if selecting a boat for that purpose. Absolute air draft limitation is 19'1" (Chicago) and lower numbers cause some limits in your choices from NY through the canals.
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Old 04-29-2015, 08:43 PM   #6
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Prefer anchoring and tying to the ball over paying for marina space, thus the desire to have off the grid capabilities. We will likely spend 2-3 months at a time on the boat, then a month or two off, then back to the boat. As stated, just the two of us and no experience beyond outboard powered fishing boats.
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Old 04-29-2015, 09:16 PM   #7
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Prefer anchoring and tying to the ball over paying for marina space, thus the desire to have off the grid capabilities. We will likely spend 2-3 months at a time on the boat, then a month or two off, then back to the boat. As stated, just the two of us and no experience beyond outboard powered fishing boats.
Thanks for the additional information. I'm going to give a stock answer, but it's one I do believe in. Do some chartering. It's the best way I know to truly get a better understanding. I love the plans you have and your planned cruising areas. Part of the process is really learning what you don't like as much as what you do like. You indicate you don't cook much but then you talk about off the grid and anchoring which does require some form of food preparation. You started with sailing catamaran as your target and now have moved away from that. One of your target areas is the gulf coast and there are great charters available there in boats that typically sell in your price range. Most of them are designed to use as you plan.

On the page I've linked to, there's an incredible post by Johnny. His post is the best advice I can give.

Trawler Forum - View Single Post - Boat Search 101
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Old 04-29-2015, 09:27 PM   #8
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We're not going to charter, we're going to do our best to analyze our likes/dislikes, our mission, budget, capabilities, etc. and then we're going to purchase a boat. Our off the grid food plans are simple, frozen, sandwiches, easy prep style food, no need for a gourmet galley.
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Old 04-29-2015, 09:33 PM   #9
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I'd agree with B (or is it B). Take a bit of time and charter a few boats. Its waaaayyyyy cheaper (and fun) than buying a 200k boat that you may not be happy with. There are so many variations of boats, that having some first hand experience in boat types, layouts, and handling as well as gaining a bit of experience hands on in a bigger boat, is a very good idea.


The jump from lake boats to a 40'+ twin engine "ship" is a big leap... so my advice is take a bit of time, charter two or three boats and enjoy the process. There is a nice 42' Kroger you can charter in the Keys, for example.


Also, take a captain with you on the charter for the first two days (or more on the first one), which will result in some speed learning on navigation, handling, maneuvering and best of all... docking!


A captains wisdom is cheaper than self taught experience and quicker to obtain.


I know that doesn't really answer the question you asked, specifically, but its the best advice I can offer after 50+ years of boating... (in case anyone asks, I started boating when I was -20 :-).


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Old 04-29-2015, 09:57 PM   #10
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$200K budget, livable, good resale, perfect great loop boat.

Well....

A 4788 Bayliner is calling your name.

try here

MV Lisas Way - Fulfilling our cruising dreams!

and here



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Old 04-29-2015, 10:03 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jacks88 View Post
We're not going to charter, we're going to do our best to analyze our likes/dislikes, our mission, budget, capabilities, etc. and then we're going to purchase a boat. Our off the grid food plans are simple, frozen, sandwiches, easy prep style food, no need for a gourmet galley.
OK. I hear you.

We did not charter first either, but did spend 5 years reading everything I could find about boating in a style we thought we wanted.

You say you will be on the boat 2-3 months at a time. That's not a small boat if you want comfort. Probably 40- 50 ft. Watch the air draft.

Read accounts, blogs, books of boaters living as you think you want. That will get you close.

If you do decide to charter, there is a charter company in Chesapeake Bay that has trawlers.


Have fun in this portion of your adventure
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Old 04-29-2015, 10:38 PM   #12
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There are lots of answers to similar questions about what boat to get or how to go about deciding what boat to get in the archives, so if you feel like doing a search you'll unearth a lot of really good advice already on this forum.

We went from a 2,000 poundm 17' outboard fishing boat to a 30,000 pound, 36' twin-diesel diesel cruiser in one step. However, we chartered a diesel cruising boat first to see if we even liked the power cruising "thing." We did, so after a bit we bought our own boat.

So the charter approach mentioned by others in this thread is a very smart way to go in my opinion.

However, my view on the "what boat to get" is perhaps a bit different than a lot of people's in that I put the type, make, and model of boat dead last in the quest for a boat, particularly for someone new to this kind of boating (as we were some 17 years ago).

I treat the whole thing the same way I would if I'd decided I wanted to get a computer and was trying to figure out what to get.

The first thing I'd do is draw up a list--- and it should be a long and detailed one--- of exactly what I wanted to accomplish with the computer. Write? Illustrate? Draw/paint? Financial stuff? Business management? Scheduling? Photo manipulation? Video editing? Internet exploring? Movie streaming?

Once I had completely defined what I wanted to do, then I would find out which applications were best for doing them. Microsoft Office? Photoshop? Adobe Premier? Illustrator? And so on.

Finally, when I had compiled my list of the ideal software to do all the things I want to do with a computer, I would find out which computer would do the best job of running the software I wanted to use.

To me, getting into cruising with a powerboat is no different. Forget makes and models for now. Instead, define what you want to do with the boat. Where are you going to boat? Where do you want to go? How many people will be on the boat? What kind of people will be on the boat? Just you? Kids? Grandkids? How about pets? Do you want to explore out of the way places or are you primarily interested in visiting the big and popular harbors and marinas? Do you want to live on it or do you want to just take short (or extended or both) cruises? And on and on and on.

Once you have defined exactly what you want to do with a boat, then it's time to start listing what you want your boat to be able to do, and what you want it to have on it.

Does it need to be able to take open water for long periods of time with it's changing and sometimes nasty conditions? Or does it need to be simply a good coastal cruiser? How many staterooms will it need? How many heads/showers? Will a full walkaround deck be beneficial? How easy does it have to be to get a big dog on and off? If you want to visit more remote places, how strong, versatile, and reliable does the anchor system need to be? Do you want to cook with gas (propane) or electricity? How fast do you want or need to go to destinations in the region(s) you want to cruise in? How many engines will best suit your requirements?

How efficient in terms of fuel usage/cost do you want the boat to be? (A lot of cruising folks want a boat that can go fast to get somewhere and then bumble along slow while they're there, and then go fast again to get home. This maximizes the time they can spend in a location if they have busy schedules or their boating time is limited.)

Is a flying bridge important to you for the view and socializing? Do you want big windows to look at the view or small windows that heavy spray or water from big waves won't break? Do you want large living spaces for comfort and guests or do you want smaller spaces that you won't get thrown across in rough water?

And on and on and on.

Once you have defined what you want a boat to be like, which is based on what a boat should be able to do in terms of your first, what-I-want-to-do-with-a-boat list, THEN you can start finding out what makes and models of boats offer what you need.

At that point, in our experience and opinions, the search actually becomes quite easy because if you drew up your two lists accurately and completely, a huge number of boat types and models will have already been eliminated. All that's left is to check out the survivors and pick a winner.

This is sort of what we did after we chartered a boat to see if we even liked the whole idea. However, we had been creating partial "lists" for some years prior to this as we discussed off and on the idea of getting into cruising.

Starting by trying to decide on a make and model of boat first is, to me, the backwards way of approaching the whole thing. To someone new to this kind of boating especially, it can be very confusing and frustrating.

Done the other way round makes the whole process, at least in our experience, a hell of a lot of fun and relatively short. Our feeling is that we'd rather be boating than looking for a boat.
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Old 04-30-2015, 12:31 AM   #13
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One needa to establish a selection criteria.


For me:


Affordable, within budget.


Keel-protected propeller(s) and rudder(s).


Strong, high, 360-degree railings.


360-degree level deck.


360-degree visibility from helm position.


Sleeps two, entertains eight or so.


Well-made.


Good range/tankage.


and so on.


Choose a boat best fitting your criteria.
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Old 04-30-2015, 06:53 AM   #14
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We've chartered 40ft+ sailing catamarans before, thus the initial thought of purchasing one. Problem is the mast height and doing the Loop. Our intent regardless of what type of vessel we purchase is to spend the first 2 - 4 weeks with a qualified, paid captain to teach us how to safely and properly use our new vessel. We'd rather spend our money learning on our own boat with a qualified professional than spend it chartering "maybe" boats.

As far as determining what we want to do, what I have in the original post is what we want to do, what we must have, what we'd like to have, what's important or not to us. Beyond what I have described there, we don't particularly care and don't intend to spend years trying to test drive all of the available makes/models of boats figuring it out.
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Old 04-30-2015, 07:37 AM   #15
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I agree with ksanders, a 45 or 47' Bayliner is a great value for someone in your price range and they are a very comfortable boat. A lot of bang for the buck. They will not depreciate much. The big Bayliners are nothing like the cheap smaller boats that flooded the outboard and stern drive markets and ruined the brand name.

From what I have read, you will appreciate the under 42" draft on the Great Loop and they have a low air draft which can be made lower by dropping the radar arch. You will also appreciate the ability to get up and go if you really need to. I personally consider them a little lengthy for the loop and my personal preference is an under 40' boat but many have done the loop in larger boats with deeper drafts. One of the negatives of the Bayliner and most other twin engine yachts is they don't have keel protection for the prop and shaft.

TF has a member with the handle "pilothouse king". He is a broker who specializes in Bayliner and Meridian yachts. He is out of Florida but is knowledgeable nationwide on those boats. I do not know him and have not dealt with him but have seen his web site and have been impressed with the boats he pushes. You might want to consider sending him a personal message.
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Old 04-30-2015, 07:45 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ksanders View Post
$200K budget, livable, good resale, perfect great loop boat.

Well....

A 4788 Bayliner is calling your name.

try here

MV Lisas Way - Fulfilling our cruising dreams!

and here



Kev, I have to say, those Bayliners like yours have a great profile. Reminds me of my Gazelle yacht. Folk used to say it looked like it was going fast somewhere even sitting on its trailer. Your boat looks like that too. I can also see/imagine the interior layout would be great also. Pity very few came over here to Aussie.
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Old 04-30-2015, 10:55 AM   #17
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Kev, I have to say, those Bayliners like yours have a great profile. Reminds me of my Gazelle yacht. Folk used to say it looked like it was going fast somewhere even sitting on its trailer. Your boat looks like that too. I can also see/imagine the interior layout would be great also. Pity very few came over here to Aussie.
Thanks Pete

Myself, I'm just a fan of the rasised pilothouse design. At 45-50' the lines come together so that nothing looks misshaped.

You can pick your poison in the raised pilothouse design. There is a Sea Ranger down the dock that is Georgous, Of course the Alaskan, I think the founder of the design in a recreational boat, and many more since then.

I've spent allot of time studying the pilothouse design and its compromises. If you want a bigger salon/galley then the pilothouse is smaller or is pressed forward. Bigger pilothouse and the reverse is true, you get a smaller salon.

Access to forward cabins in a pilothouse uses two methods. One method is to do what Bayliner did and have stairs from the salon and a long hallway. This is good and bad. Its good because the stairs do not have to be long or steep and the helm is full width. Its bad because it cuts the cabin area in half width wise making the only place for the master berth far forward.

Another method is to have stairs in the pilothouse. This is good because the master berth can be full width and midship. Its bad because the stairs are long and steep and the helm area has to be narrower to make room for the stairs.

The only disadvantage I see of the pilothouses designs in boats this size is the engine room height. You either need to increase draft and or raise the salon floor to get a nice high engine room.
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Old 04-30-2015, 11:22 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jacks88 View Post
These forums are great places to get opinions about all kinds of things. I appreciate the time people take to contribute to them. Thanks.

My reason for being here is simple, the wife and I thought we wanted a sailing catamaran, but haven't found the perfect vessel yet. The longer it takes, the more we start to consider other types of vessels. In addition, the more we struggle to find a vessel, the more we refine our mission and our likes/dislikes.

To that end (and I really hate to do this, but I've been reading the threads I think are pertinent), HELP!

Mission: coastal cruising along the East Coast and Gulf Coast, winter pilgrimages to warmer climates such as Bahamas and Antilles, Great Loop, possibly some navigable river cruising.

Budget: $200,000

Just the two of us, relatively healthy, not in any hurry (ie. retired), no pets.

Must haves: queen size or larger bed, separate shower, great outdoor living space, great visibility from within the main living area.

Prefer: multiple heads, off the grid living.

We don't require a fancy galley, we typically don't cook much and when we do the meals aren't very complex. We either eat simply or dine out.

Some things should go without saying. . . safety, reliability, and resale value are all important. We're likely to give this a go for at least 5 years.

No experience on larger vessels, just the typical lake and bay fishing boats with outboard or smaller inboard/outboard singles.

As one current member's signature states "I'd rather be comfortable than dignified."

Welcome Jack!

You can buy a lot of boat for 200K. I just went through your situation about a year and half ago. May I suggets the following:

1. You and the Admiral create a dream boat list. This list will have the "must haves" and the "Nice to have, but not a deal breaker." For example with us if the boat had teak decking or no cockpit, it was a deal breaker.

2. Take your list and start living (opps exploring) Yacht world (http://www.yachtworld.com/ ). Start visiting some of the boats so you and the Admiral can get an idea of what you like and how it compares to your list.

3. Go to boat shows and walk the used boat section and mabe the new.

4. Do good research! Very important here. Don't let your heart rule the day when you get ready to buy. Make sure you get engine and hull surveys.

There are a lot more, but the above will get you started.

Good luck and welcome!
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